Instrument Portrait Series: DRUM – Sameer Gupta at Real Art Ways

Skip to main content


Instrument Portrait Series: DRUM - Sameer Gupta


Real Art Ways presents three concerts that explore distinct types of drums. Each concert includes a discussion with the performing artists. 

A Circle Has No Beginning by Sameer Gupta featuring Marc Cary

“The New York-based drummer-tabla player’s own compositions, which fill most of A Circle Has No Beginning, are in the fusion vein, continuing in Weather Report’s trajectory with echoes of ’70s Herbie Hancock and Jean-Luc Ponty. Oriental modes, celestial vibes and muted funk are heard. Not surprisingly, percussion is integral.” – Morton Shlabotnik, Shepherd Express

Sameer Gupta will perform tabla and drumset in selections from his February 2018 release A Circle Has No Beginning that features a fusion of Indian classical music and jazz. Joining Gupta will be Marc Cary (keys), Jay Gandhi (bansuri), Arun Ramamurthy (carnatic violin), Marika Hughes (cello), Pawan Benjamin (sax), and Rahsaan Carter (bass).

About Sameer Gupta
Sameer Gupta is known as one of the few percussionists simultaneously representing the traditions of American jazz on drumset and Indian classical music on tabla. He has performed at Lincoln Center, SFJAZZ, Nehru Centre London, Jazz at Lincoln Center, MoMA NYC and Yerba Buena Gardens San Francisco.

His own interests and love of tabla brought him to the great maestro Pt Anindo Chatterjee, of whom he is now a dedicated disciple, though his first few years were spent under the guidance of Ustad Zakir Hussain. Sameer is also a co-founder and an Artistic Director of the non-profit collective Brooklyn Raga Massive.After graduating with a music performance BA, Gupta worked and taught in the Bay Area for 10 years as a jazz drummer, and later also as a classical Indian tabla player.

Today he lives in Brooklyn, NYC and is actively involved in performing, curating, producing and teaching through various institutions including Brooklyn Raga Massive, Carnegie Hall’s Global Encounters and Ragas Live Festival.

Gupta has held workshops on Indian music and cross over drumming styles, at The Jazzschool in Berkeley, California and Berklee College of Music in Boston.

His influences range from Elvin Jones and Tony Williams to Ustad Allah Rakha and Pandit Anindo Chatterjee, and he’s has had the pleasure to play with many great musicians including Falu Shah, Rez Abbasi, Marc Cary, Wallace Roney, Karsh Kale, Pandit Krishna Bhatt, Ravi Chandra Kulur, Mysore Manjunath, Prasant Radhakrishnan, Pandit Chitresh Das, Jason Samuels Smith, Pandit Ramesh Mishra, Pandit Anindo Chatterjee and numerous other luminaries.

Gupta continues to build his career by combining traditional and modern improvisational styles drawing from his dual Indian and American heritage, and has already established himself as an original musical voice in jazz, world, and fusion music.

From his early percussion studies in Tokyo, Japan in the mid 80s, he has consistently placed himself in many challenging musical environments – from bebop to avant-garde jazz, and European classical percussion to North Indian classical tabla. Gupta continues to compose and perform music from a true multi-cultural perspective that bridges several continents.

More at Sameer Gupta’s website.

Major support comes from the Richard P. Garmany Fund.